The Art of Teaching

I realized this quite early in life; not everyone can be a teacher. Rather not everyone can be a good one. And mind you, a good teacher isn’t necessarily the person who is always a jolly, smiling individual but one who genuinely makes you interested in learning.

While I was going to school, children were largely meant to be seen and not heard unless expressly called upon to show the teacher that they hadn’t wasted his or her time lecturing a class of 40 kids, every day about things they didn’t know they needed to learn. And yet teachers are an inescapable part of life; the inadvertent ones and the one we recognise as teachers.

After going to 9 different schools from pre-primary till my 12th grade exams, I thought I had a pretty good fix on who can be considered a good teacher and then college hit and I began to have multiple A-Ha experiences. While it is harder to hold down the attention of school-going kids and give them an exposure to all the subjects in one go, it is that much harder to teach young adults coming into their own, about how the subjects they will learn in college will end up impacting their lives in a more permanent way.

I have had teachers dazzle me with their knowledge, their passion, their kindness and also their love. I have (sadly) also seen people that made me cringe and made me promise myself that I would never submit to that kind of rigor, near aggression or mindless teaching in the name of education.

The adage from G.B Shaw, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” has been proven wrong many times over. Those who can do, those who can’t, don’t or bumble along trying. It has *nothing* to do with teaching at all.

To all my teachers over the years…whether I reached wherever you expected me to or not, the lessons have been learnt. Some discarded, few forgotten but the ones learnt properly have resonated with me and continue to do so. Thank you…

The Exasperated Mommy Bloglet

Living with a teenager is quite like living with an overly opinionated, randomly emo, rather ignorant, squaking parrot who you love to bits but want to silence by throwing a tarp over.

The Mother’s Day Brouhaha

My family lived in the US briefly, many years ago. Prior to that life was smaller in many ways. There were no 75 channels on tv and there certainly was no Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Presidents Day and what have you.

We had Children’s Day where we most certainly did not get to escape from school; were “nudged” into elocution or essay competitions eulogizing the first Prime Minister of India. We had Teacher’s Day where the teachers got a break..sort of. The place I did my middle school from, had the 10th graders dress up in sarees or salwar kameez and the younger classes were allocated to us to manage while the teachers had a break for a day. Lunch was organized for them and there were no classes on that day for anyone. Good times all around. But the concept of Mother’s Day being a thing and a big one at that is something I got to know when I was in 3rd grade. Still a newbie of sorts to American life.

Our teacher who had an unfortunate way of looking strict while she wasn’t too bad in real life had us make little accessories for our mothers. Small pieces of what looks like particle wood to me now were available for us to color on and then a pin would be glued on the back and it would make a lovely brooch for our moms.

In theory so many things sound good. Doable even, but give a bunch of kids glue and craft products especially a goggle-eyed one from India who is new to the concept of pipe cleaners and googly eyes and you get something like this-

My mother in her infinite wisdom *never* wore this except for the time I gave it to her. Given that she had nothing which would offset this and she never went trick or treating either, this brooch was consigned to her drawer of special things, displayed prominently but sensibly not worn.

She preserved this, possibly as a reminder to herself that Art and her daughter were not intended to be friends. Over the years I’ve got a laugh out of jiggling the brooch so the eyes jump up and down but for the most part this work of art remains misunderstood and has more depth than anyone has possibly gauge.

Happy Mother’s Day all!

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

A few days ago I wondered to myself that the reptiles we are forced to share our home with are suspiciously MIA given how summer’s setting in.

That was really stupid thing to do because there are times when the universe answers questions, not always prayers but often questions and answers then with a BANG!

This morning while grabbing the life-sustaining can that contains the magic that is caffeine, a fairly healthy and aggressive specimen of the Bane Of My Existence Aka Wall Crawler Supreme In All Its Ickiness, came charging out at me, making me almost drop the coffee. Almost. Now *that* would have been a catastrophe.

Stupid tropical country with its tropical climate that’s optimum for creepy crawlies..

Let’s Catch Up

It has been a while since I wrote. Been a while since I even thought of writing, to be honest. In the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” and it it holds true even now, decades after he said it.

I turned a year older recently. Had my peeps around for a bite of birthday cake while TO manned or should I say preteened a live sundae counter. Kids were happy, dentists will be made happier still somewhere down the line.

The year started off well enough but came with a few hard knocks rather soon into the first week of January with us losing a loved family member and in March me losing someone very dear to me. My process of grieving is usually to write about my feelings or the person who has gone and pay them a tribute in some way but this time around it’s been rather hard and the words don’t want to come forth.

Apart from giving it time, I suppose there’s not much one can do but not everyone’s life is one we can celebrate in toto once they pass. Some lives you look back at and hope for all the turmoil they were in or caused, they gained a modicum of peace somewhere and didn’t feel agony or fear in their last moments. I find it a crushing thought to even imagine anyone I’ve cared about experiencing pain in their final moments. But one must try to accept what life throws their way, however jarring to the senses and move forward. I read an article sometime back about moving on vs moving forward; found it made sense. Posting it here for those who don’t mind a bit of gyaan but not an avalanche of it.

This morning when I started off with my morning routine of Wordle and a quick crossword, I realized how much TO’s influenced my life. The child isn’t a Ross Geller in the making from what I have understood. He can love dinosaurs and other buried prehistoric creatures without wanting to devote time in academia to truly enjoy it. The reptiles he loves have become integrated into our lives and our minds. One of the clues this morning in the New York Times Quick Crossword was Spitting _________ (a five lettter word) and I automatically filled in cobra. Once the crossword was filled, I found it was a different word entirely. Once upon a time I’d have been able to lead with the other word more easily but now life has a place which is dedicated to animal quizzes on road trips and amorphous plans around the world to see dangerous creatures or the slithering ones.

With summer break on the horizon along with exams, our days are busy and minds busier still. Hopefully the writing bug bites me again and I reenter the blogosphere properly and soon!

Ciao.

Road Trip: Day Three

We took in the sights around Mysore a bit and then drove to Madikeri in Coorg. Less pictures from the drive this time around since TO was in a *major* snit from being denied a Choco Shot at a place we stopped to refuel ourselves and get some caffeine. Apparently if you deny a child his chocolate, the world explodes in lava and misery and there’s no kernel of joy and hope left anywhere. *rolls eyes*

Take a look at the grandeur of the Mysuru Royal Palace.

Road Trip: Day One

Red loves to drive. The longer the distance, the better. TO luckily has his spring break starting today…and yes while it *is* a funny concept in Hyderabad where we have Hot, Wet and Cold as the primary seasons; it’s a good opportunity for us to plan getaways.

TO diving into the bag of snacks within minutes of starting from home.

Our destination this time around isn’t Goa. Not yet anyhow, although with us you never know. We just might get a hankering for the pristine beaches of Varca and end up driving there impromptu. Anyhoo…Coorg is where we’re headed in a few days with pitstops at Bangalore and Mysore. Or Bengaluru and Mysuru to be more precise.

We drove leisurely enough, packed to the gills with snacks, comfy clothes and just took in the scenery of hills and undulating plains which merged into flat ones within the blink of an eye.

With stops at good, clean places for breakfast and lunch and being pleasantly surprised at the quality of service, food and overall lack of rusticness, the first leg of the trip’s been just dandy so far. Stay tuned for more from the travel diaries. Ta!

Parenting Bloglet- 02.03.2022

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Parenting Bloglet- 22.02.2022

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